Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Would You Tell Your Daughter It's Okay?

Anyone who is hooked on the reality television show “Basketball Wives” should know about the Evelyn/Chad drama.  If not, here’s what going on…after Evelyn found a condom wrapper and a receipt showing that he bought condoms, she confronted Chad.  During the argument, Chad head butted Evelyn, leaving an open gash on her forehead.  Last night, on the first episode of the season, Evelyn’s perspective on the situation was aired.  There were so many messages portrayed about this situation, and it just makes me wonder how our youth are viewing these messages.  To change how someone thinks first starts at home, and this is a big topic that should be discussed.

What hurt me the most, while watching last night, was the advice Tami gave Evelyn: try to make the relationship work.  Tami stated that she think people deserve second chances and that sometimes it takes individuals to go through things to become the person they need to become.  Shaunie asked Tami how she knows he wouldn't do it again, and Tami answered with you don’t know but you have to step out on faith.  Shaunie also asked Tami if she would give her daughter that same advice, and she said yes. She even said the same thing about the situation between Chris Brown and Rihanna.  Click here for a video of the conversation.

While I understand the point she was trying to make about men learning after seeing that their actions have bigger consequences,  and that things might be different the next time around because the abuser can understand that his actions will not be tolerated.  However, the keyword in that last sentence is “might.”  On the other hand, the message sent can also say, “she’s gone for now but she will always come back.”

It seems that Tami’s take on this issue is that you never know until you go back and try again.  This is always a great attitude to have, but in certain situations it could set you up for failure.  This is why I wonder what kind of messages we are sending to our youth who are looking up to these women for guidance on how to live their lives.

According to the National Resource Center for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year, (SC Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault).  This is a message that these teens, or any other teen, should not hear and take to heart.  Sadly, they do and may end up in similar situations that they were in before.

Setting good examples for our youth is a start for them to live better lives.  These examples, unfortunately, many times come from the media.  Too often, our youth wish to live the lives of the characters they see on television. Tami’s reasoning was only one sided of what could happen.  I would encourage teachers, parents and other adults who are role models to teach the other side of what could happen from the Basketball Wives’ conversation.  We want our youth to mimic the positive decisions we make in our lives, not just what they see in the media.

To find out more information about the show, click here.

More information on teen dating violence can also be found here.

by Edwina Mack, USC Master of Social Work Field Place Student, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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